Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Are there bears in these woods?

Last weekend we tried our hand at the great tradition of family camping - something Emily has wanted to do for awhile. She and Ben spent a week taking inventory of our (Ben's) camping supplies, buying a tent and sleeping bag and planning the menu. Emily was practically bursting by the time Saturday afternoon rolled around and we were finally packed, loaded and ready to go.
We only had to drive about 30 minutes to get to a pretty nice campground at Fort Story right here in Virginia Beach. But as we drove, Em's excitement started to turn into anxiety.  She was pretty concerned about the campground's bear population despite several assurances that no, there were no animals that would "get her" in the middle of the night and yes, she would be sleeping in a tent with a door, with both of us to protect her. Ben informed her once more that Fort Story was surrounded by water on two sides and a large amount of city on the other two sides and, as bears can neither swim for long distances nor drive, none would be able to bother us at our campsite.  Well, this raised a whole new concern.  If there are no bears at this camp, then how were we, a whole family of Bears, supposed to get in!?

But we did get in.

Em and Ben made camp, I built the fire and The Commodore supervised.

Tasty, tasty camp food was enjoyed and then a story by lantern light.

Sleep was non too forthcoming, but we all made it through the night just fine. When  I finally crawled out of the tent in the morning, Ben greeted me with a plastic mug of french press coffee.

Afterward I made pancakes and sausage so we'd have enough energy to get packed up and home again.

We all had a good time and are looking forward to doing it again.  Especially Emily, who was relieved to find that the only critter to bother disrupting our camp was this guy:

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